Attention! You are using an unsupported browser! We recommend using Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer (v. 8 or later) for using our Quick-Look service. Thank you.

Quick-Look Program

Quick-Look is:

  • A fast and easy way to get help from highly experienced experts regarding your concerns about the building exterior.
    • You noticed something new, odd, or plain alarming – is it a problem? How big a problem?
    • You know you have a problem – what are the possible solutions? What are the trade-offs?
    • What is this stuff anyway? Knowing what material you're looking at is an important first step if you are contemplating repair, revision, or replacement.

Who uses Quick-Look?

  • Property management companies – property managers
  • Building owners – facility managers and chief engineers
  • Public works officials
  • Board members of homeowner and condo associations
  • Contractors considering doing work on existing structures
  • Attorneys needing context for advising a client on defects
  • Homeowners who want to be confident before proceeding

When would you use Quick-Look?

  • You need to know more about an exterior element on your property.
  • You don't need a full blown engineering study at this moment.
  • You are tired of getting conflicting opinions from different contractors.
  • You want some background and context before you invite contractors to offer a proposal.
  • You want knowledgeable answers, not guesses.

How it works:

  • You send us a few words and a few photos (must be good quality and of a certain type - photo details are here). You also send payment along with your photos and your answers to our questions.
    • Just click on Get a Quick-Look. The website will guide you through a simple process, including secure payment by credit card.
  • We respond with a written report, usually within 24-48 hours. Sometimes we will first ask questions or give you directions for more photos. Then you get the report.
  • Your written report will briefly address your specific concerns and speak to next steps and options. See Example Reports.
  • Your Quick-Look report will be emailed to you as an attached pdf file. No hard copy will be sent. Further consultation is available on a case-by-case basis.

What is unique about Quick-Look:

  • Fast – you will usually get a report back in 1-2 days
  • Low cost: $225
  • No BS – we know what we know, and we know when we don't. We don't exaggerate our certainty. When the photos don't tell a clear story, we'll provide an educated guess and suggested next steps.

What is this network of seasoned professionals?

  • Headed up by Leo Schlosberg. With decades in the business, Leo's contacts have a wide range of expertise.
  • The network consists solely of people who have personally looked at many situations and conditions and been involved in detailed assessments.
  • Each has been screened by Leo for both depth of knowledge and for approach (can proceed from observation to conclusion in a logical fashion).
  • The network is exceptionally knowledgeable on walls that have architectural precast concrete, cast stone, GFRC, or terra cotta.

More on when a Quick-Look can help you

  • Structural and durability concerns - We can tell a lot from looking at good photos. In most cases we will give you a high-confidence answer to "Is this a serious problem"? Often we will be able to identify the source of a problem as well as the expected progression. We can distinguish between simple common problems and unusual ones. Concrete and masonry are materials with a complexity that surprises the uninitiated. Start with the complexity of the material and add in the complexity of the structural issues (various forces, the nature of surrounding material, etc.) and some problems are not easily resolved. There is not always an apparent single root cause.
  • Appearance Concerns - In most cases we can identify the underlying problem and recommend solutions. We will also consider the likelihood of successful remediation. Some messes are easily cleaned; others are difficult to clean.
  • Material Identification - If you are considering an alteration or repair you need to know what the existing wall or structure is made of – it has huge implications for scope. Many materials look like other materials. There is a long history of manufactured stone (sometimes called "faux stone" or cast stone). For example, one could argue that terrazzo, with hundreds of years of use, is a manufactured stone. We have worked on repair, renovation and restoration of many types of historic cast stone, such as the Aquatorium, Soldier Field, Congress Plaza/Grant Park, 63rd St. Beach House and we are also very familiar with the many more modern manufactured stones. See the trade magazine article from 2000 that features us. Without extensive experience it is often difficult for people to distinguish between materials. We can tell one faux stone from another and we know the real thing - see our gallery of manufactured stones. In most cases we can confidently identify the material from photos and supply you with a general idea of what's causing any visible problems. Knowing what material you are looking at is the first step in changing or repairing something.

More details on how Quick-Look works

  • Cost: $225 (credit card, PayPal account, or mail us a check). There is no invoicing option for this service. We will not look at your photos while a check is "in the mail".
  • Speed: After we receive payment and photos, we usually respond in 24-48 hours. We may ask you for more photos and clarifications. If issuing the report will take a little longer than 48 hours, we'll let you know. If you are paying by check, no report will be issued until the check is received.
PayPal Acceptance Mark